The Oklahoma Secretary of State has certified Question 788, a measure that would legalize medical marijuana, for the 2018 ballot.
Oklahoma could join the 29 U.S. states that have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes if its voters approve a measure in the 2018 election. State Question 788, certified for the ballot last month by the Oklahoma Secretary of State Dave Lopez, calls for the legalization of the cultivation, use, and possession of medical marijuana.
Campaign organization Oklahomans for Health had collected enough signatures for the measure to qualify for the 2016 election, but legal difficulties surrounding the ballot summary of the new law eventually prevented it from making the ballot.
“We are excited that in 2018 Oklahomans will get an opportunity to vote on our proposed law,” said Chip Paul, a spokesman for Oklahomans for Health. “We are even more excited to begin to educate Oklahomans not only on the value of medical marijuana as a medicine, but also on our very progressive law we are proposing.”
State Question 788 would allow qualified patients aged 18 years or older to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person and up to 8 ounces at their residence, up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana, and up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana. Individuals with a medical marijuana license would also be permitted to grow up to six mature and six seedling marijuana plants.
The law would require that patients first obtain the signature of a board-certified physicians before obtaining a state-issued medical marijuana license. Rather than the program allowing cannabis for specific qualifying conditions, the law allows medical cannabis to be recommended for any condition a physician believes would benefit from the treatment.
“This is purposeful as it forces physicians to become educated about medical cannabis and what it can/cannot treat,” Paul said. “Further, we have tried our best to set a win tone in our proposed law for a marijuana business climate. We allow partial outside the state ownership in grow, dispense, and process, [plus] we allow unlimited grow sizes.”
The measure would enact a 7 percent tax on all medical marijuana sales, with revenue going to finance regulatory costs. Any surplus would be distributed to the state’s General Fund and the Oklahoma State Department of Health for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Under the new law, patients caught with unlicensed possession but who can state a medical condition would be punished by a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars.
“We see far too many Oklahomans forced to use marijuana to treat some medical condition, and because of the current laws, they run the risk of arrest, a fine and incarceration,” said Sen. Anastasia Pittman. “Thousands of children and elderly Oklahomans suffer from some medical condition where marijuana is the only affordable treatment they can find. It is time we change the law to make this type of treatment under a doctor’s care in Oklahoma.”
According to the latest poll of Oklahoma voters conducted in 2013, 71 percent believe that marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. Voters will get the opportunity to make legal medical cannabis a reality November 6, 2018. If the measure is passed, a new section will be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 420 of Title 63.
Learn about medical and recreational cannabis laws in the U.S. by visiting our education page.